Welcome to our first ‘E Bulletin’ for 2014. We hope that you all had a wonderful break and experience a safe and prosperous New Year!!
January sees the rollout of the new ‘Bullying’ Legislation which empowers the Fair Work Commission to manage complaints from employees and other parties. More so than ever it is important that businesses have adequate policy and procedure in this increasingly high profile area to ensure adequate processes are in place to manage this area. Call us if you need further clarification.
It is not unusual for us to hear that staff resign after returning from holidays, particularly after the Christmas/New Year break. There are a number of factors that can influence an employee’s decision to resign from our businesses and unfortunately the resignation comes as a shock to most employers. (Even employers themselves sometimes have the same thoughts after they’ve had a break from the workplace!).
After the initial shock of receiving a resignation comes that sinking feeling in the pit of the stomach when you realise that a replacement needs to be found, and there is just never enough time to dedicate to finding the “right” person to fit the position.
Where are we going with this? Well we’re not going to sell our recruitment services to you – you know where we are if you need assistance in that area. What we would like people to take away from this article is that there is no more perfect time than now to engage with your staff. Don’t wait until it is too late to find out that your employees are unhappy and are considering leaving.
Whilst developing a career and putting in a 110% effort may be what you expect from your employees, a pay cheque is ultimately only a means to an end for most of us.
Try this for a New Year’s Resolution:
Engage in a conversation with your staff members individually and find out what their goals and aspirations actually are outside of work. Seeking feedback from and giving feedback to your employees are a part of your process of performance assessment and, rather than having one major cringe-earning meeting once a year to discuss performance, why not consider a series of continuous feedback options instead? Let’s face it, performance appraisals are one of the most disliked and constantly avoided strategic human resource processes around!
We have a number of clients with Registered Agreements in place. One of the issues that often gets overlooked is admin staff turnover and familiarity with the conditions of employment specified in the Agreement. This is particularly so with regard to payroll staff who often are not properly inducted by management into the Company’s agreement often leading to incorrect payments and misinterpretation of Agreement pay and conditions over time.
As an Agreement can have a life of several years it is quite common for management staff, who originally had a lot of involvement in the formulation of the Agreement to leave the business for greener pastures. This can then leave a ‘vacuum’ behind in terms of people with real working knowledge of ‘how’ the agreement works and the reasons for its establishment in the first place.
You can also find that admin staff can be quite blasé about the mechanics of an Agreement and don’t regularly check that what they are doing is in line with the requirements of the Agreement. When you think that the Agreement has – in most cases – replaced an Award or even several Awards in their entirety this is of concern, as you can still be prosecuted for breaching your own Agreement where underpayments etc have occurred.
From a Management perspective, make sure that:
- You are fully conversant with your Agreement and that you know when the Agreement is due to reach its nominal expiry date. You don’t necessarily want to be working under an arrangement that is several years past due!
- Your management team are also conversant with any specific employment conditions so that they are able to accurately answer any questions from employees.
- That a copy of the Agreement is available for all staff to access.
- That your pay rates are regularly reviewed for compliance with the applicable Award(s)
- That your payroll staff are fully up to speed with your Agreement and are in a confident position to address any questions that may arise in terms of the application of any specific terms.
Confused? Call us for assistance on 9792 4451